Summary

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Living Things

What strategies are contemporary artists using to “animate the inanimate?” To better understand the complexities of our rapport with things, this issue casts a critical eye on contemporary artistic practices that challenge our common perceptions of the “object” and that invite us to reconsider its nature, status, and various functions. This number takes stock of a current phenomenon that resists the dematerialization of art heralded by new media, a phenomenon that manifests itself in a “return to the object” and in the avid interest of the social sciences in material culture.

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Current Issue

Family

As the basis for social organization and the primary site of socialization, the family has drawn particular attention in the visual arts since the inception of art history. As contemporary art seems well engaged in an examination of cultural practices, the family, in all its forms, is returning to the spotlight. Many artists today revisit family traditions, sites, and taboos, challenge what has been held as unspeakable by digging into archives, and invent new, intimate forms of sociability out of biographical experiences. This issue reflects on family histories as they are rewritten in contemporary art.

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